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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 134-149

Claims on Natural Resources: Exploring the Role of Political Power in Pre-Colonial Rajasthan, India

Department of History, Satyawati College (Eve.), University of Delhi, Ashok Vihar-III, Delhi 110052, India

Correspondence Address:
Mayank Kumar
CM - 702, Abhimanyu Apartments, Vasundhara Enclave, Delhi 110096
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The issue of claims over natural resources has been debated for a long time. With its growing powers, the state has increasingly claimed prior proprietary rights over natural resources. It is generally proposed that traditional societies were able to resolve the issue of claims over natural resources and state intervention was minimal. Early writings have sought to establish a 'golden age' approach to Indian environmental history. The interventionist attitude of the state has been attributed to the British. The state tried to control and manage the natural resources not for conservation but to enhance revenue collection. However, it might be incorrect to attribute interventionism only to colonial and post-colonial administrations. Medieval states were also very eager to ensure continuous and regular appropriation of revenue and were thus actively involved with the management and appropriation of natural resources. Here, an attempt is made to examine the necessity and extent of intervention in the management and appropriation of natural resources. The role of traditional rights and claims of the common man have also been examined.

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